Dotel, 40, dealt with elbow and forearm issues for most of 2013, allowing seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings over six appearances. He posted impressive numbers in a full 2012 season, going 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 62:12 K:BB ratio in 58 innings with the Tigers.
The Padres already have someone in the closing role, with Huston Street scheduled to make $7 million in 2014 and the Padres holding an option for the same salary for the 2015 season. If the Padres do land Benoit, it's possible they could deal Street to another team looking for an upgrade at closer in order to bring in some offensive help.
The Orioles have also been in discussions with Joaquin Benoit and John Axford to fill their closer role.
"When they're looking at true opportunity, they know that
The Cardinals made their intentions clear by trading David Freese to the Angels earlier this offseason, allowing Matt Carpenter to move to third base, thereby opening up second base for Wong. Though Wong was unable to secure a full-time role after his callup in August, hitting .153 in 59 at-bats, the Cardinals are still confident in their 2013 minor-league player of the year.
"We put him in a situation that he'd never been in before," manager Mike Matheny said, referring to Wong's platoon role with Freese. "He's shown every indication [of being a starter] and shown it to all of us, too. We just didn't get to see it night after night of what kind of excitement he brings to the field. So the talent level isn't the question. It's just a matter of maturing."
They have a preference for Howell but have also engaged in serious discussions with Logan. Howell had a 2.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 67 appearances for the Dodgers last season. Logan had a 3.23 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 61 appearances for the Yankees.
McLouth is expected to serve as the team's fourth outfielder and hit near the top of the lineup when he plays. His playing time should come primarly against right-handed pitchers, against whom he has hit .260/.345/.441 in 2,338 career at-bats.
In a related move, the Nationals designated outfielder Corey Brown for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for McLouth.
"Mark had a tremendous college career," he said. "Whether we start him at [high Class A] Lancaster or at [Double-A Corpus Christi] next year [isn't decided]. But we're going to be patient with Mark. We're going to make sure that he has enough time to develop."
Appel had a 3.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 10 starts between two minor-league stops last year.
In order to clear a 40-man roster spot for the recently signed Nate McLouth, the
Brown was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse in September but didn't have a path to playing time moving forward with McLouth on board. Brown hit .254/.326/.473 with 19 home runs, 56 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 389 at-bats with Syracuse last season.
Albernaz hit .225/.279/.304 with one home run and 11 RBI in 102 at-bats with Triple-A Durham last season. He's a .204/.286/.264 hitter in 859 career minor-league at-bats.